Bahrain RBAF F 16 Block70 640First RBAF F-16 Block 70 unveiled

On 21 November 2022, Lockheed Martin has published a photo of the first F-16D Block 70 for the Royal Bahraini Air Force (RBAF).

The RBAF has ordered sixteen Block 70 F-16s, divided over ten F-16C and six F-16D models. The now unveiled F-16D, serial 1611, is also the first production aircraft of the latest version of the F-16 aircraft, built from scratch at the Lockheed facilities at Greenville (SC).

The two-seater will undergo preliminary ground tests, and the first flight is scheduled for early 2023. Then, in the first quarter of next year, it will be handed over to the US Department of Defence (DoD) and sent to Edwards Air Force Base (CA), where pilots from Bahrain will be trained.

The first batch of four aircraft will be delivered in the first half of 2024. This delay is due to logistical problems caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Similar problems are noted with the in F-16 order for Bulgaria, who will face a delay of two years.

Scramble Magazine assesses that the serial batch of the sixteen F-16s will be as follows:

F-16C Block 70: 1601 until 1610, FMS 18-0001 until 18-0010
F-16D Block 70: 1611 until 1616, FMS 18-0011 until 18-0016

Photo by Lockheed Martin

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